6 Best Places Miami-South Florida

The 6 Best Places to Live in the Miami/South Florida Area

Plus the Pros and Cons Of Moving to South Florida

You you can save yourself a lot of time money and stress by thoroughly researching where to relocate, to prevent an expensive mistake. This is especially true if you are going to be moving long distance to an area with a different climate, housing construction, cost of living, etc., such as South Florida.

There are pros and cons to living anywhere. Places that have more pros than cons, naturally make better places to live. The places that have far more pros than cons make great places to live. Time is life, we only get so much, so why waste life making mistakes?

The Pros/Advantages of Living in the Miami/Southeast Florida Area

  • There is a vast job market offering just about any type of position you may be interested in.
  • You will be able to find just about any type of recreation, dining, shopping, entertainment or service you could possibly want, with the exception of winter sports involving snow.
  • There are some nice beaches in the area.
  • You’ll be living in an area where millions of people from other areas spend lots of money to travel to and spend vacation.

The Cons/Negatives of Living in the Miami/Southeast Florida Area

  • South Florida is very flat and the elevation of much of it is just a few feet above sea level. This makes the area particularly vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes which can cause storm surge, flooding and other major damage.
  • All of Miami and most of developed southeast Florida falls within the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s 50 mile Ingestion Exposure Pathway Emergency Planning Zone of The Turkey Point Power Plant Nuclear Generating Station in Homestead Florida, located just below Miami.
  • Most of South Florida’s cities and towns have crime rates higher than the national average. Many have crime rates that far higher. Housing in lower crime areas is expensive.
  • High humidity can make doing anything outdoors that doesn’t involve water, uncomfortable, for many people for most of the year.

A possible major pro or con depending upon your situation

  • In many areas in Southeast Florida, Spanish is widely spoken. In many areas it is the predominately spoken language. If you are fluent in both English and Spanish, as many residents in this area are, this is obviously not a problem. However, if you only speak one of these languages and will have the need to regularly visit areas where the language you know is not spoken, you may find this challenging unless you are willing and able to learn a new language.

Here Are the 6 Top Places to Live in the Miami-South Florida Area For a Better Quality of Life

Please Note: These are also the best suburbs of Miami

In no special order…

#1 Cooper City, Florida

Cooper City is also one of the best places to live in the Miami Southeast Florida area for families

Don’t want to live right near the water or the beach? Cooper City is a town of 33,000 that’s west (away from the coast) from Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Florida. Student test scores and high school graduation rates here are far higher than Florida’s statewide average. Here you’ll find high a high quality of life and low crime rates of course, that many may also find Cooper City to be be more suited to raising a family or for retirement.

#2 Key Biscayne, Florida

Key Biscayne is where 13,000 people are living on an island just a few minutes from downtown Miami, but it has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. Housing here costs about 5 times more than Florida’s average, but the combination of high quality of life and beaches plus island lifestyle, is priceless.

#3 Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

22,000 people live in Sunny Isles Beach which located on a key just off shore from the city of North Miami. Here you can enjoy an island lifestyle where the housing cost is only about twice Florida’s average. That’s a bargain for beaches and high quality of life scores (including low crime rates) in the Miami South Florida area.

florida move guide book cover and discription

#4 Coral Gables, Florida

Coral Gables is also the closest city to Miami on this best places list.

Coral Gables is also one of the best places to live in the Miami Southeast Florida area for families

Coral Gables is another great places to live in South Florida and it’s home to the University of Miami. The are 51,000 people who call this “small city” home. Over 50% of the population here identifies as Latino or Hispanic. Crime rates are very low and student test scores are very high making it an ideal place to raise a family.

#5 Sunset, Florida

Sunset Florida is also one of the best places to live in the Miami Southeast Florida area for families

If you moved to Sunset Florida you too could enjoy high across the board quality of life scores. Well, with the exception of affordability, just like all of our other choices. High student test scores and graduation rates makes Sunset Florida population 17,000 a great “small town” to raise kids in the Miami area.

#6 Kendall, Florida

High school graduation rates, student to teach ratio and student test scores all all better in Kendall, than Florida’s average. It’s also a safer place to live than most. Kendall Florida has a population of 75,000 and still manages to maintain a high overall quality of life which is rare for Florida. Housing costs here are about double Florida’s statewide average.

The 3 Best Neighborhoods in Miami

Miami Florida does not qualify as a best place for any of our lists because crime rates are far higher than the national average. However, if you have a compelling reason to live within the city limits of Miami, these are the neighborhoods that we have determined to have the highest quality of life scores, including lower crime rates. In no particular order…

  • North Coconut Grove
  • South Coconut Grove
  • The Uppereast Side

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Ron Stack

  • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.

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11 thoughts on “6 Best Places Miami-South Florida”

  1. Cooper city is NOT safe how could it be #1. I feel as if the author is very out of touch with this one. Same goes for key Biscayne. I was born and raised in Florida, and am currently still a resident. What I can tell you is that this article has it all wrong.

    • Sorry Tyler, only verifiable facts matter on this website. Not unsubstantiated “opinions” that are contrary to the facts.

      Fact: According to FBI statistics (as reported to them from local law enforcement agencies) Cooper City Florida’s violent crime rate is 75% lower than the national average. Its property crime rate is 50% lower.

      Fact: According to FBI statistics (as reported to them from local law enforcement agencies) Key Biscayne Florida’s violent crime rate is 90% lower than the national average. The property crime rate is 25% lower.

      Both places are among the safest places to live anywhere in the US, not just in the Miami/South Florida area. They both have some of the highest rated schools in the state, more amenities per capita (such as shops and restaurants), etc. and are the among the best places to live in the area overall.

      You also stated “I was born and raised in Florida, and am currently still a resident.”

      Comments from locals on the ground are always welcome, especially where there aren’t any facts so opinions can be very important. However, it would be much better to check to see if there are actual facts pertaining to the subject you wish to make a strong statement about, so you could maybe then say something like “I know that the number of reported crime complaints is low compared to the national average according to the FBI, but I feel they are inaccurate because…” A comment like that would actually add something valuable to the conversation.
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      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

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  2. Hey Ron, I was wondering if you could recommend another Beach Town like “Safety Harbor, St Pete’s” but much further south on the gulf or atlantic side, either one works for me. I’ll do all the more intense scrutiny of your recommendations so don’t worry about price, school systems, crime levels etc. I know this is a broad request but just wondering if you someplace comes to mind? Thank you.

  3. Hello Ron,
    I have been reading through your blog and would greatly appreciate any input you’d be willing to give me. – We currently live in Carmel, Indiana, which is a north suburb of Indianapolis. My husband has been offered a job with a territory from Riviera Beach to Boca Raton in Florida. Have any cities in that area made any of your list? I’m apprehensive to leave our safe city and great school system. In 2012, Carmel was selected as the “Best Place to Live in the United States” by CNN Money magazine, and received the same designation by Niche.com in 2017 and 2018. I’m not sure if it makes sense to leave such a great place. Like most families, we are looking for a safe town with a good school district. We have two young boys and are only fluent in English. We’ll be looking for home in the 550k-650k range. Thank you for your time!

    • Hello Erin,
      I’m well aware of Carmel Indiana, it’s quality of life scores and how long it has maintained them, which is important. For instance, You mentioned Boca Raton Fl. It was on a best places list of ours until it’s property crime rate rose above the national average. Both property and violent crime rates must be below the national average to quality for our lists. We remove recommendations even when the violent crime rate is still below the national average, because too many times we’ve seen violent crime rates follow the rise in property crime although it could be years later. My point with this is that in high population growth states such as Florida, things can change rapidly such as crime rates, school ratings, etc.

      How to Retire Happier, says that moving from a highly rated place to a lower rated one, usually will lead to disappointment. I don’t know of any place in Florida that has a violent crime rate as low as Carmel for instance and I have researched crime rates in Florida for years. There are 3 groups of people who should read the Florida Move Guide before relocating to Florida, because so many people move to the state only to later decide it was a mistake. The groups are: people 55+ because moving takes more of a toll on us as we get older, and usually a 2nd expensive long distance move is required to fix the mistake. The second group is people who will be selling in one state to buy in Florida, because if it turns out to be a mistake, selling again, moving long distance again and buying again can shrink or destroy financial net worth. And people with school-age children because moving them from where they are thriving to an unknown environment 1500 miles away can have life-long consequences if things don’t work out. You appear to fall into not one but two of these groups.

      You wrote “I’m not sure if it makes sense to leave such a great place.”

      I guarantee that by the time you’re done reading the Florida Move Guide you’ll know. If not, just use the contact page and let me know and I’ll make sure you get a full refund. Good luck with your very important decision Carmel vs Florida decision Erin.
      _____
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
      • Is there a better state to relocate to or a better retirement lifestyle for you than moving to Florida? You’ll know after reading How to Retire Happier.
  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about miami. Regards

  5. I totally agree with this article. I moved to Miami in 1990 it was okay back then. I can never find Steady work now, in addition they make us work more and get paid less. Worst mistake in my life unfortunately I couldn’t move due to a elderly parent and limited income. My property is worth less now than when I bought it in 2005. Nobody speaks English in Miami.

  6. I’m interested in purchasing a home in Broward county Florida. I have gone to view some homes and was shocked at the prices being asked for these homes, its almost as if they have doubled in price, I think they are all over priced. These homes were not worth the prices being sold. How can a one person income be able to pay for mortgage? How long will the market stay at its current position? How long do we have to sit and wait for a one person income to be able to purchase a home?

    • Hello Stephanie,

      You wrote: “I have gone to view some homes and was shocked at the prices being asked for these homes, its almost as if they have doubled in price”

      When was the last time you checked out hosing prices in South Florida? During the “great recession” prices in Florida dropped over 50% on average. So a $400,000 home dropped to around $200,000. So yes, if they are back up to $400,000 they have doubled in price from the last Florida bubble burst. It’s particularly tough to find “cheap” homes anywhere in Florida during boom times. Especially in South Florida’s in the better (safer) neighborhoods and suburbs.

      However, we expect to see a significant drop in prices in the near future but no one knows the exact timing because we don’t yet know what will trigger the decline. It could be a “normal” recession that we have about every 7 years or another “normal” hurricane season with evacuations, lots of damage and weeks of negative national news coverage for the 2nd year in a row after Florida had a record 10 years without them, that causes people to leave Florida while slowing the number of people moving to the state. If prices dropped 40-45% from where they are now, would you be able to buy? if not, it may be time for plan B. I would be careful about buying a place just because it’s cheap if it’s in an area where crime is a concern already, and rising. That tends to have a negative effect on home values.
      Good luck Stephanie.
      _____
      Ron Stack

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
      • Is there a better state to relocate to or a better retirement lifestyle for you than moving to Florida? You’ll know after reading How to Retire Happier.
  7. Could you please recommend a safe and affordable place to live in southeast Florida where we could find at least one acre of land? I don’t care about beaches or amenities. We just want to grow tropical fruit: mangoes, jackfruit, sapodilla, coconuts, etc.

    • Sheila,
      Safe and affordable usually does not go together in South Florida. In addition, “affordable” has a different meaning to different people. For example, one person might consider anything under $100,000 affordable for them, and another person make feel anything priced under $300,000 is affordable for them. The best thing to do might be to search Realtor.com, Zillow.com or other real estate listing sites for land that is affordable for you and if you can find something, use the comment section like you did and ask about the town(s) crime rates. Good luck Sheila.
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      Ron Stack

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
      • Is there a better state to relocate to or a better retirement lifestyle for you than moving to Florida? You’ll know after reading How to Retire Happier.

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